Pennsylvania, Jul 2 (IANS): Indian golfer Arjun Atwal, playing on a sponsor's exemption in Tiger Wood's tournament hit a fine four-under 66 that gave him a share of the lead at the end of the first round in the AT&T National.
The AT&T National tournament raises funds for the Tiger Woods foundation.
Atwal, who practiced with Tiger Woods in the week of US Open, knocked seven birdies for the day Thursday, but also had three bogeys and shared the lead with Nick Watney, Joe Ogilvie and Byron Nelson-winner Jason Day on a day when the pin locations made it difficult to attack the flags.
Atwal dropped a bogey on his opening hole but quickly recovered with three straight birdies from inside 12 feet. "Four under is a great score for me or anybody on this golf course," he said.
Atwal turned in two-under and then added a birdie on 10th and 13th before dropping a shot on 14th. He made that up on 16th and again dropped a shot on 17th. But he closed with a birdie on 18th for a 66.
Atwal's friend, Woods, had a tough day giving away five shot in the last five holes for a three-over 73 that left him with a stiff task to make the cut.
Woods, who won the AT&T National last year at Congressional, had only two birdies. The first one on the first and then the fifth.
Atwal, who has time and again been asked about Woods, said again, "As far as comparing myself with him...it's strange, because we practice and play every day, so I've stopped doing that."
"Initially, when I used to practice and play with him, I used to compare myself. But now, it's just...whatever. He's always helped me if I have any questions about short game or whatever it is. He's always been there," he added.